Maggie Cooper's slow-cooked pot roast.
Maggie Cooper's slow-cooked pot roast.

The best way to cook tough cuts of meat

I'm still in a slightly kitchen-free zone at home; a long-needed remodel is in progress and my backyard studio has basic - read one step up from camping - cooking facilities.

One of those is my treasured slow cooker, used this week for a great big ol' helping of comfort food in the form of a beef pot roast.

This can be another one-pot wonder - useful in my current circumstances - but I do prefer to brown the meat and vegetables in a frying pan first. You get caramelisation happening, which improves the flavour and also the appearance.

Don't waste money on tender cuts for this dish; the tough stuff comes into its own for slow-cooked dishes.


Serves: 6


2 tbsp olive oil

2kg piece chuck, brisket or oyster blade

6 potatoes, scrubbed and quartered

4 carrots, peeled and quartered

1 brown onion, peeled and sliced

1 tbsp plain flour

4 sprigs fresh thyme

2 sprigs fresh rosemary

500ml beef stock (home-made, if possible)

Salt and pepper, to taste (see note)


Heat the oil in a frypan over medium-high heat. Brown meat on all sides and remove to a plate; add vegetables and cook for 2-3 minutes, turning once or twice. Sprinkle with flour and cook for a further minute or two.

Place vegetables on the bottom of the slow cooker, then place the beef on top with the herbs. Add the stock and season to taste. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 4-5 hours. Serve with steamed broccoli or green beans.

NOTE: If you buy packaged stock, taste before adding extra salt.